Goody's 500 Monday Notebook MARTINSVILLE, Va. (April 20, 1998) Notes from Monday's NASCAR Winston Cup Series Goody's Headache Powder 500 at Martinsville Speedway: Randy LaJoie is finally having some fun in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.
Goody's 500 Monday Notebook
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (April 20, 1998)
Notes from Monday's NASCAR Winston Cup Series Goody's Headache Powder 500 at Martinsville Speedway:
Randy LaJoie is finally having some fun in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. The two-time defending NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division champion, subbing for the injured Ricky Craven in the No. 50 Budweiser Chevrolet the past few weeks, recorded his best career NASCAR Winston Cup Series finish, fifth, in the Goody's 500 on Monday.
LaJoie started from the 36th position, but made his way up into the top-10 by mid-race and stayed there for the remainder of the event.
"It was absolutely an awesome run," LaJoie said. "That's where we should have been qualifying. I tried way too hard qualifying and got into the curb. We had our work cut out for us, and this Budweiser team worked hard all day long.
"They needed a good run, and we got one. I can't say enough about Hendrick Motorsports and Budweiser. Any time you have a good run it means a lot, but to come here to Martinsville and start 36th and come out of here with a top-5 is really cool."
Ted Musgrave continues to be a bridesmaid, but never a bride. Musgrave finished runner-up to winner Bobby Hamilton, the fourth time during his NASCAR Winston Cup Series career that he's finished second.
"When the car works good, it's really fun," Musgrave said. "When you've got a handful out there, then it's a long day. But the car drove really, really good all day. The team has been really good all year, we've just been having a little trouble. We've been good, we just haven't had a chance to show it, and today, we stayed out of trouble and got some really good pit stops that made a difference."
Mike Skinner will have at least one more week to heal up from injuries he suffered at the Texas 500 two weeks ago. In addition to the Goody's 500 at Martinsville Monday, Skinner will also miss the DieHard 500 at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend, Lowe's Home Improvement Public Relations Representative Bob Moore said Monday afternoon. Not to worry, there's always Morgan Shepherd, who finished 11th in Monday's Goody's 500 as a substitute driver for Skinner. Shepherd will once again pilot the No. 31 Chevrolet at Talladega.
Another substitute driver, Rich Bickle, had a rough day. Bickle, subbing in the No. 98 Thorn Apple Valley for the injured Greg Sacks, blew an engine on lap 274 and wound up finishing 41st after a solid qualifying effort of 11th.
Sacks, in attendance at the race on Monday, said he hopes to be back behind the wheel of the car at Talladega.
"It's unfortunate today," Sacks said. "We got behind on our pit stops, but we were running awfully good. It's kind of funny, though, being the new kid on the block. These guys don't give you nothing. They kind of run you around a little bit, but that's alright. We had a good day. It's unfortunate we had a motor problem, but I think I'm going to drive this thing next week at Talladega and we'll go down there and get them then."
Tim Enderle, a rear tire carrier for Cale Yarborough's No. 98 Thorn Apple Valley team, was involved in a single-car accident early Monday morning. Enderle and his girlfriend were traveling on Hickory Ridge Road in Harrisburg, N.C. They were en route to the race shop in Concord when the accident took place at approximately 5:30 a.m.
Other details of the accident have not been released by the North Carolina Highway State Patrol.
Dale Jarrett is slowly making his presence known in the point standings once again. After a mediocre start to the season, Jarrett has fought his way back up to fifth in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series points race. He's only 106 points behind leader Rusty Wallace after a third-place finish in Monday's Goody's 500.
"The car was awful good," Jarrett said. "It got a little loose there at the end, but it's definitely a gain over what we've done here lately. It was going to take some kind of miracle to make something out of that (pitting on the backstretch). We got a good break, and that's what we needed. Sometimes you have those."
Hamilton was the sixth different winner in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in 1998. In eight races so far this season, only Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin have been repeat winners.
Hamilton also claimed the $106,400 76 Challenge Bonus for his victory from the Bud Pole. The last time driver to win the bonus was Mark Martin at Dover last season.
Source: NASCAR Online